Manchester United 0- 2 Liverpool
|Date & Time||Thursday March 17, 2016, 3:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Manchester United 5/6 Draw 5/2 Livepool 10/3
Bt Sport: ESPN: NBC Sports
Without doubt the biggest game in the Europa League will come from Old Trafford where Premier League giants and arch rivals Manchester United host Liverpool. Liverpool come into this second leg with a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Anfield. Liverpool were full value for their win in that first game with the reds dominating possession and chances created. David De Gea in the Manchester United goal was by far the busier keeper and the Spaniard kept his side in the game with a string of fine saves. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp got the balance right and with Couthino, Sturridge and Firmhino he has an attacking trio that will create problems for any team. Sturridge has a lot of pace which can exploit the weaknesses of Manchester United's make shift defence but Couthino, Firminho, Henderson and Milner must find him with the ball in order for Liverpool to take advantage. There is a chance that Sturridge exits Anfield this summer, his injury record makes it tough for a manager to build a team around him but there is no doubting the Englishmans talent when fit.
On the Manchester United side on Thursday night the fans need to see some fight. The first leg was tough if you were or are a Manchester United fan. Van Gaal clearly set his side up not to lose and they had little intent going forward. There is some truth in Van Gaal s post game press conference ,where he blamed poor officiating on the result. There were genuine doubts over both of Liverpool's goals with the first decision obviously wrong in the award of a penalty when the foul occurred outside the penalty area. The second was less clear cut but Henderson was just offside when he received the pass prior to the through ball that led to the second Liverpool goal. Louis Van Baal could easily be described as the unluckiest Manchester United manager with both injuries and poor decisions marking his time in charge but unless Van Gaal wins this competition I think we will see him out the door in the summer making way for Jose Mourhino.
Such a finely balanced tie here, a goal for Liverpool more or less finishes the tie but I still expect Manchester United to come out and try to blitz them early. Look for Mata to play the ball behind the Liverpool back four and Martial, Rashford and Depay to take the game to Liverpool. I think this one could be an absolute belter of a game and if United can get an early goal we could well see penalties here. I am taking Manchester United to get an important win here at a decent price.